Texas sues Biden administration in long-running bid to overturn federal mask mandate for public transportation

“Biden’s repeated disregard for the individual liberties of Texans is not only disrespectful to the U.S. Constitution, it’s also embarrassing that a president thinks he can act above the law while hard-working Americans” , Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “President Biden cannot continue to rule by executive orders. Now is the time to rescind his administration’s air travel mask mandate.”

Paxton, along with the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of U.S. Representative Beth Van Duyne, a Republican whose district includes suburbs near Fort Worth and Dallas. They allege in the lawsuit that the order, first issued by Biden shortly after he took office last year, violates US law regarding how federal rules are issued and is also unconstitutional because, say -they, it represents a case in which the executive branch has performed the legislative function of the legislative branch.

Plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction against Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two agencies named as defendants in the lawsuit.

CNN has contacted HHS for comment. The CDC declined CNN’s request for comment.

The lawsuit is the latest attempt to overturn Biden’s order, which requires travelers to wear masks on planes, buses, trains and boats, as well as at airports and other transportation hubs.

In July, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the conservative High Court members, rejected an emergency request to block a mask requirement brought by a man seeking to leave Florida by plane who said his generalized anxiety disorder prevented him from wearing one.

The man, Lucas Wall, also alleged that the policy was unconstitutional and violated various regulatory authorities.

In December, as the Omicron variant coronavirus sparked new concerns among health experts, the Biden administration extended the term until March 2022.

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